Freedom in boxes
Always remember the four boxes that keep us free in America: the soap box, the ballot box, the jury box and the cartridge box.
Never miss a local story.
Every September, the State Department holds ceremonies at the Dole Institute in Lawrence and elsewhere to award naturalization certificates to thousands of legal immigrants who successfully obtained U.S. citizenship.
If the immigration system is broken, as President Barack Obama says, how did this happen?
Only one part of the immigration system is broken. Obama chooses not to enforce current immigration laws.
Immigration reform has two parts. First, secure the border.
Imagine the Obama “Ship of State” leaking water. He blames the former president, Congress (Republicans) and companies that insure ships against leaks.
He declares the ship-building industry broken. He issues an executive order about what to do with the water in the ship without fixing the leak.
The second part of reform is to create a pathway to citizenship for the illegal immigrants we allow to remain in our country. Democrats and Republicans generally agree on a path to citizenship, but they don’t trust Obama to enforce the law and stop the leak.
Obama can find the problem in a mirror.
Maybe he should just play golf. If he got out of the way, Congress could secure the border and then resolve the path to citizenship.
I see more news on the great financial problems of our U.S. Postal Service. I think I have at least a partial solution.
Make residential deliveries only three times a week.
Some people would get their mail deliveries on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays. Others would get their mail delivered on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.
All we get in the mail are advertisements, bills and requests for donations.
We could handle this three times a week as easily as six times a week.
We’re getting tiresome dialogue from the Republicans. They receive the same e-mail and spew it out via the news media all day.
Each says, “The president is a monarch, a king, a tyrant.” Next day’s message: “The president isn’t leading.”
A king or tyrant leads, either in a good or bad way. The Republicans can’t have it both ways.
Next they talk about the jobs bills passed in House. They don’t tell you the bills cut corporate taxes, kill environmental regulations and approve the Keystone XL Pipeline. States take all the risks of leaked pipelines, and oil companies reap the profits.
Over and over in the House and in the news media, the Republicans said the president could fix the border problem. The Senate passed an immigration bill about a year ago, but House Speaker John Boehner refuses to bring it to the floor of the House for a vote.
Republicans have voted to sue the president. After consultation with corporate leaders and health insurance executives, the president delayed implementation of the Affordable Care Act because of the complexity in constructing programs for a large number of employees.
That’s the basis for the lawsuit. Now they want the president to use his initiative to do their job on the border.
The decision to normalize diplomatic relations with Cuba angers many people, mostly conservatives.
I believe that had a Republican president done exactly the same thing, he or she would’ve had the conservatives’ support.
People would want to own the moment, as they did when they credited President Ronald Reagan with ending the Cold War despite former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev’s and the Soviet population’s interest in reforms.
The fact is President Barack Obama took six years to address what he had recognized as an injustice as a senator. The United Nations has, for more than two decades, condemned the U.S. embargo of Cuba.
This year the vote to end the sanctions was 188-2. The two countries supporting the failed policy were the same two facing so many recent human-rights violations, the United States and Israel.
They should each recognize they’re in very bad company. Much of the world is moving on, and we don’t want to be in that other group.
Tech jobs, women
I am not sure I understand Nancy Zurbuchen’s problem in her Dec. 29 “As I See It” piece, “Tech women lag the field.”
She laments that only 30 percent of Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Twitter employees in the tech field are female.
Additionally, she laments that there are not enough females in STEM majors (science, technology, engineering and math) in universities.
Is she advocating that females be assigned STEM majors to increase the percentages?
There currently are more females enrolled in colleges and universities than males. Females could easily enroll in STEM majors if they desired.
Could it be that only 30 percent of the female population is interested in STEM majors?
Ms. Zurbuchen ignores the fact that less than 1 percent of the female population is involved in the plumbing, electrical, carpentry and heavy-equipment businesses.
Should females be assigned to one of these occupations, or should they be allowed to determine what they would like to pursue as a lifetime vocations?
I have no position in this discussion. I just do not understand what Ms. Zurbuchen is advocating.
Fox News effect
Thanks to those GOP letter writers for opening my eyes to the failures of President Barack Obama.
According to them, the president is solely responsible for the Syrian crisis, the Gaza conflict, the Islamic State in Iraq, the Russian incursion in the Ukraine and any other problems or unrest happening abroad or at home.
I was going to research those issues more thoroughly and was trying to decide where best to begin.
It then occurred to me — Fox News, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O’Reilly and others. That would make my research much quicker. Maybe not factual or unbiased, but quicker.
Costly college degree
As a high school junior, I am preparing for life after graduation and what that will look like.
My plan is to attend college, but with the increasing cost of tuition this plan seems almost unattainable.
In-state tuition, comparatively, is not as expensive, but those who wish to go to college far from their home states have to pay at least double tuition plus cost of living.
Unless you receive a scholarship or financial aid or can pay for your tuition, you might have to apply for loans, which, depending on your career, can take years to pay off.
This is a major deterrent for many people, who choose to forgo enrolling at a university and go to technical schools or join the armed forces and go to college later.
The high tuition costs are limiting the choices for prospective students and forcing them to seek alternatives that are growing in popularity and diverting money that colleges could be receiving if the costs were not so high.
With all this talk about the police needing retraining, perhaps it is time for citizens to be retrained or at least reminded that when a police officer says, “Stop” or “Put your hands out, you are under arrest,” you do just that and don’t choose to resist, particularly after committing even a misdemeanor offense such as stealing some cigars or selling cigarettes.
After arrest, you can always call your civil rights lawyer and sue for unlawful arrest, unless your lawyer tells you your arrest was not unlawful, just unwanted.